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Movie picks 

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

*21 Jump Street (R)

Yes, there are ways to convince us that throwing the title of an old TV series on a big screen actually had a point — and the bulldozer of hilarity that is 21 Jump Street belongs in that conversation. — Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Act of Valor (R)

About, and starring, a Navy SEAL squadron. By the time a death is memorialized in an endless military funeral sequence, the whole endeavor starts to feel more like a hot-box pummeling than a rallying cry. — Justin Strout

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Adventures of Tintin (PG)

Visually, Tintin offers an exponential leap in the potential for motion-capture adventure, with action set pieces. But there are vacant human spaces in the center. It's like Raiders of the Lost Ark, if Indiana Jones had been played by Taylor Lautner. — Scott Renshaw

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Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G)

After surviving the sinking of their cruise ship, Alvin, Simon and Theodore must survive on a Polynesian island. — Not reviewed

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*The Artist (PG-13)

The Artist is at turns funny, heartbreaking, thrilling and a visual marvel with only Ludovic Bource's sublime score to guide our reactions. The film is art that stands on its own, a reflective surface of some of cinema's best ideas. — Justin Strout

Kimball's Peak Three

Big Miracle (PG)

Inspired by the true story, the rescue adventure tells the tale of a small town news reporter and a Greenpeace volunteer who join together to save a family of gray whales trapped by ice in the Arctic Circle. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

Casa de Mi Padre (R)

A comedy starring Will Ferrell stylized as a telenovela about a man who has to save his father's ranch from a local drug lord. — Not reviewed

Tinseltown

*Chronicle (PG-13)

Chronicle makes us reconsider entirely the terms of superhero and supervillain. No one here can be reduced to such clear-cut, black-and-white terms. They're just people doing the best they can with what they have. It's just that now, suddenly, they have so much more than the rest of us. — MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10

*The Descendants (R)

The film is an almost dirge-like story about grief, but so much more than that. George Clooney plays Matt King, a Hawaiian real-estate baron; it's a triumph for all, especially the audience. — Justin Strout

Chapel Hills 15, Picture Show

Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (PG)

The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Friends With Kids (2011) (R)

A comedy about a pair of best friends who watch in horror the effect having kids has on their mutual friends. — Not reviewed

Tinseltown

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (PG-13)

In the successor to the worldwide hit Ghost Rider, Johnny, who still struggles with the curse of being the devil's bounty hunter, is hiding out in a remote part of Eastern Europe when he is recruited by a secret sect to save a young boy from the devil. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10

The Grey (R)

The plane carrying an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements — and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt — before their time runs out. — Not reviewed

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*Hugo (PG)

Hugo is about both the dreamers and the keepers, and a masterful clarion call for new ones like them, from a man (Martin Scorsese) who's been both. It's a deeply personal animated film that doesn't preach, and a majestic love letter to the cinema. — Justin Strout

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The Iron Lady (PG-13)

The film waffles too much over what to do with Margaret Thatcher, and spends too much time on the seemingly obligatory montages. — Scott Renshaw

Kimball's Peak Three

*Jeff, Who Lives at Home (R)

The film may wrap up a little too neatly, but, despite the downers, it's a fun time throughout, with Jason Segel and Ed Helms playing off each other well and delivering more laughs than letdowns. — Tricia Olszewski

Kimball's Peak Three

*John Carter (PG-13)

While the conclusion sets up the prospect of sequels, I'm not sure I need to see another John Carter movie. But I had a surprisingly good time with this one. — Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (PG)

A frenetic pace provides distraction from the absence of an actual story. But it's frustrating to sit through. — Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Man on a Ledge (PG-13)

An ex-cop turned con threatens to jump to his death from a Manhattan hotel rooftop. — Not reviewed

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Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (PG-13)

A bomb destroys the Kremlin and the IMF is blamed. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team must unravel the conspiracy. — Not reviewed

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*The Muppets (PG)

When dealing with something legendary like The Muppets, nostalgia certainly plays into one's response. But there's also the nostalgia that comes from simply trotting out a bunch of characters and saying, "Hey, remember them?" and then there's showing such a deep respect for your source material. — Scott Renshaw

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One for the Money (PG-13)

Desperate for some fast cash, born-and-bred Jersey girl Stephanie Plum turns to her last resort: convincing her sleazy cousin to give her a job at his bail bonding company ... as a recovery agent. — Not reviewed

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Project X (R)

Three high school seniors attempt to make a name for themselves by throwing one unforgettable house party. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Safe House (R)

None of it is as brave or even as captivating as it appears to think it is, and the film has nowhere near the conscience it would like you to think it has by the time it's done throwing some car chases and showers of broken glass at you. — MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*A Separation (PG-13)

As many ideas as Asghar Farhadi weaves throughout the Iran-based A Separation, there's never a moment when the characters feel like place-holders for a thesis, as opposed to wonderfully flawed humans. — Scott Renshaw

Kimball's Peak Three

*Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13)

Guy Ritchie's latest installment is fun, witty and, perhaps most shocking of all, occasionally restrained. It's more satisfying than its predecessor. — Scott Renshaw

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Silent House (R)

A young woman finds herself sealed inside her family's secluded lake house. With no contact to the outside world, and no way out, panic turns to terror as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house. — Not reviewed

Tinseltown

This Means War (PG-13)

Reese Witherspoon's Lauren finds herself dating Chris Pine's smooth-talking CIA agent FDR, as well as his partner-in-espionage, Tom Hardy's Tuck. — Justin Strout

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest

A Thousand Words (PG-13)

Fast-talking agent Jack's insincere patter is his chief weapon, but it gets him into trouble with his client guru Dr. Sinja. Jack suffers karmic repercussions from Sinja's magical tree, which sheds one leaf for each word Jack speaks; after one thousand words, Jack will die. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Tyler Perry's Good Deeds (PG-13)

A successful, wealthy businessman, Wesley Deeds has always done what's expected of him, whether it's assuming the helm of his father's company or planning to marry his beautiful but restless fiancée, Natalie. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10

Underworld: Awakening (R)

After waking from a 15-year coma, Selene discovers she has a 14-year-old vampire-Lycan hybrid daughter and that they must stop a bio-tech company from creating an army of super-Lycans. — Not reviewed

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The Vow (PG-13)

Based on the true story of a newlywed couple recovering from an accident that puts the wife in a coma. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest

War Horse (PG-13)

War Horse boasts plenty of terrific individual scenes, but Steven Spielberg falls back on his old bag of tricks to make sure we grasp Significance: his trademark slow zoom-in; under-the-chin hero shots; glorious landscapes set to John Williams' music.— Scott Renshaw

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We Bought a Zoo (PG)

Let's face it, when you take your family to the zoo, safe and predictable is exactly what you're looking for. It isn't, however, what you look for in a Cameron Crowe movie. — Anders Wright

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The Woman in Black (PG-13)

This adaptation of Susan Hill's 1983 novel pays homage to the Gothic Hammer Horror films. — Neil Morris

Chapel Hills 15

  • Our reviewers' recommendations for films playing around the area.

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